Top Chef Rundown: February 18, 2009
First of all, I think New Orleans is a great backdrop for the finale, if for no other reason than it’s a locale that’s really known for its food.
Second of all, I think it was a great idea to let Jamie, Leah, and Jeff try to break into the finale during the quickfire challenge, and an even better idea to require that Jeff get first place in order to make it to the end. I was a little bit proud of Jeff, actually. Though he’s still convinced that he didn’t do anything to deserve elimination in the first place (and he’s wrong), he did find his focus and reign in all of his whims to create simple dishes. He did a good job on the quickfire, and I was happy to see him join the Final Five.
Third of all, the cheftestants should not have been surprised to see Emeril Lagasse–I think he was a great fit for guest judge.
Fourth of all, everyone did pretty well in the elimination challenge as far as I can tell. Stephan’s bad attitude was back, but for the most part, he’s able to back up his swagger with actual skills, so what’s the harm?
Fifth of all, my feelings could be changing about Carla. She’s been pretty frickin’ good for the past few weeks, and it’s nice to see her enjoying herself, even if she is a bit of a weirdo. Jeff got burned by the “deal with the devil” that he made, and because he wasn’t the best, he went home. I felt bad for him, a little, but ultimately, I think that was a fair price to pay to get back in the game.
Sixth of all, I was not heartbroken to see Fabio go home. He was good all season, but he really didn’t have his best night here, and small mistakes are enough when everything is good overall.
Seventh of all, I’m looking forward to next week, when we see Carla, Hosea, and Stephan cook the best meal of their lives. No restrictions, no games, no price limits, time limits, or broken freezers–just great cooking. I can’t wait. I will admit, I don’t have a clear favorite right now, but I’m excited to see how this all plays out.